Daniel 7:1 Index
"In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters."
Research Material

"In the first year of Belshazzar..."

  • It should be pointed out that Daniel does not present the materials of his book in strict chronological order. The events of Daniel 5 and Daniel 6 took place before these recorded in Daniel 7 doubtless for reasons of continuity... (4BC 819)
  • This is the same Belshazzar mentioned in Daniel 5. Chronologically, this chapter precedes the fifth chapter; but chronology is here disregarded in order that the historical part of the book may stand by itself. (US 105)
  • The seventh chapter of Daniel reveals the future of God's people, not only of the Hebrew nation, but the true, the spiritual Israel. This vision was given to Daniel in the first year of the reign of Belshazzar, about 540 B.C. The mere giving of this view bears the strongest testimony to the results of Daniel's education when a youth, to his steadfastness of purpose, and his growth in spiritual things. At the age of eighty-five, after sixty-seven years of court life, with all its allurements, and the natural tendency of human nature to sink to a purely physical existence, his eye of faith was so undimmed that at the bidding of Michael, Gabriel could carry Daniel into heaven itself, there to behold the Father and the Son in the final work of the sanctuary above. Moses once saw these things from the top of Mount Horeb when the tabernacle was to be built, and so great was the glory that he had to veil his face before common people could behold him. Daniel's heart was with God, hence things which eye hath not seen nor ear heard, could be revealed to him by the Spirit. (SNH 101-103)

"...Daniel had a dream..."

  • In a dream the Lord gave to Daniel a pictorial view of the future history of the world.... The prophecy of Daniel 7 covers essentially the same span of history as the dream of Daniel 2, both reaching from the prophet's day to the time of the establishment of the kingdom of God. Nebuchadnezzar saw the world powers represented by a great metallic image; Daniel saw them as symbolic beasts and horns, and saw also aspects of history related to the experience of God's people and the outworking of His plan. Daniel 2 deals largely with political matters. It was given, first of all, for the instruction of Nebuchadnezzar, to secure his cooperation in the divine plan (Daniel 2:1). The relationship of the people of God to the shifting political scenes was not a subject of that prophecy. The prophecy of Daniel 7, like those of the remainder of the book, was given especially for the people of God in order that they might understand their part in the divine plan of the ages. The inspired preview of events was given against the background of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. The efforts of the archenemy of souls to destroy the "holy people" were unveiled and the final victory of truth assured. (4BC 819)

"...he wrote..."

  • So that it might be preserved for future generations. (4BC 819)

"...and told the sum of the matters."

  • Evidently what is meant by the expression is that Daniel wrote down and reported the chief contents of the dream. (4BC 819)
  • The first half of the book of Daniel deals with questions pertaining particularly to the kingdom of Babylon as it existed in the days of the prophet. The last six chapters are devoted entirely to the history of the world as a whole, and in visions given at various times, the prophet is shown the great events until the end of time. Looking into the future, he sees, as it were, the mountain peaks lighted with the glory of God, and these striking features are noted with unerring accuracy to serve as guideposts, not to the Jews only, but to all people, that they may understand the times in which they live, and know what is about to come on the earth. (SNH 101)
  • To the student of prophecy, Daniel 7 is an important record. By a continuous chain of events, the prophet gives the history from the days of Babylon to the great investigative judgment, which is the central theme of the chapter. (SNH 102)